Last week before Jim Leyland announced that he would be stepping down from his managerial post, a caller to MLB Network Radio suggested that Leyland could lose his job after the playoff run. Of course he did not, but the caller's point still kind of makes sense. He asked, "Who is out there that could come in ready to go for just a year or two and not disrupt this core that is in place?" "Charlie Manuel could," I said to myself, as the caller was dismissed by the host because Leyland would not be fired.
And wouldn't you know, Leyland announced that he decided back on September 7th that he would retire at the end of the season. The caller ended up making a great point: the team could use someone that would not disrupt clubhouse chemistry and man the post for a year or two. That person could be former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. And he's interested.
During an interview with Detroit Sports 105.1, Manuel told host Matt Dery he had yet to speak to the Tigers or Dave Dombrowski, but he would be interested in taking over for Jim Leyland. Keeping his options open, Manuel was non-committal about which open managerial job was better, but he was intrigued by the Tigers.
"My agent will definitely call some teams and feel them out. He talks to me before he does it. He chats with me regular."
Rich Seroka of Detroit blog Detroit Rock City believes that Manuel would be perfect for the job:
Manuel seems to have all the necessary requirements. He has managed big egos and big expectations in Philadelphia, plus he won the World Series in 2008. He managed in Cleveland so he knows the division as well and is also a players manager like Jim Leyland, so the change would not be as hard on the players.
So the real question is, would a team like the Tigers be interested in Manuel, who will turn 70 before Opening Day? It's possible. Major League Baseball has seen Jack McKeon and Davey Johnson manage after turning 70 in just the last couple years. If what the caller identified is indeed what the Tigers are looking for: someone who can keep things together for one or two years, he very well may be.